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Gimje Airport Construction Should Be Delayed

Posted June. 14, 2004 22:44,   

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Construction at Gimje Airport of Jeonbuk, scheduled to be completed by 2007, is likely to be delayed. The Board of Audit and Inspection said that “the demand for flights will likely drop because of the Honam high-speed train” and reported to the Ministry of Construction and Transportation, the chief control of the project, to delay the start date of the construction.

Regarding Muan Airport in Jeonnam and Uljin Airport in Gyeongbuk that are both already in the midst of ongoing construction, it also reported that their business scale and opening timing should be reconsidered since they were “of less economic value.”

The Board ordered the ministry to correct its projections after finding out that the ministry had made mistakes in its analysis of the feasibility of the construction projects of the three new airports in their special inspection into the ministry regarding “Promotion Situations of the Airport Construction Project.”

The three-airport construction plan was given a 568.9 billion won budget, and 57.8 percent, 329.1 billion won, of the budget has already been spent.

Construction Logistics Inspection Department Secondary Chief Seong Nak-jun said in a briefing that day, “It was found out that the Ministry of Construction and Transportation overestimated the demand for flights while establishing plans for the three airports’ construction plans.”

Also, he said, “we warned the minister that there should be no more airport construction plans that are promoted without being elaborately examined on their economic feasibility.”

The special investigation used an index that decides whether or not to build an airport based on a cost-efficiency ratio. The ratio came out to be 0.63 for Gimje Airport, but the ministry calculated it as 1.19, and 1.45 for the Muan and Uljin Airports when the investigation’s calculations were 0.49 and 0.9, respectively. When the index goes over 1, new airport construction is considered economically feasible.

In addition, it was found out that the ministry had analyzed that demand for Gimje Airport flights would only decrease by 17 percent due to the West Coast Highway and the Honam high-speed train when the estimated reduction was a 65 percent decrease.



Young-Hae Choi yhchoi65@donga.com